Why it’s ok for newspapers to die


This essay is an all-too cursory sketch of what is happening right now with the newspaper business, but it’s certainly accurate.

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2 thoughts on “Why it’s ok for newspapers to die

  1. What if NEWS papers changed to corporate NEW bureaus under the corporate umbrella and deliver digitally to whatever media like TV, phone, computer….and that umbrella brought YOU the news 24/7 (like CNN only local) with stocks, weather, crime, crops, events, and whatever else you wanted for easy choice brought to you by attractive and intelligent looking people who reflected who you are. Just click on the button which matches your profile….

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  2. Precisely my point in Part II of Newspapers Must Evolve:Parent companies must diversify in news, non-news and non-publications areas.NEWS: I’m thinking specifically, exploit the web. Create websites with news and articles for NATIONAL niche audiences. Stop thinking in local terms when you think about the Internet. LOOK AT THE BIG PICTURE. News, showbiz news, sports news, financial news, weird news, tech news, shopping news, food news . . . each topic could have a daily-updated website, like Slate or Salon, and the pioneering news company that created this pantheon of sites (hint, hint, Media General) would be extremely well-positioned when the bottom finally drops out of the print news business within the next ten years.And it will.NON-NEWS: Websites with features and information, rather than just news. Game sites; opinion sites; cartoon sites. Even — now, think about the damn revenue alone, okay? — porn sites. (Time-Warner-AOL offers it in America’s hotel rooms. Should MG or any other intermeganationalcongloporation be different? Holier than thou?)NON-PUBLICATIONS: Newspaper corporations traditionally offer news and information. What’s missing from that formula? Entertainment. Create Web content and television and YouTube and iPhone and iTunes content that is fun. Build a commercial audience. Think beyond news and think about what people want.7. Look at basic cable.When the bottom drops out, and it will, only a handful of big newspaper companies will have the resources to create a national presence of any kind. The New York Times Co., yes. AP, yes — but they won’t. They are traditionalists who follow the rules instead of making them. Media General? Why, yes. What I’m suggesting is consider that “news” — quality news — cannot die with the slow death of newspapers.What could, oh, say, a Media General do?Online outlets — and outlets in whatever the next big thing will be — will need resources for news. When the news corps die, only a few will be left standing, and I predict they will all vie for dominance, offering their services to online outlets in much the same way as basic cable works today. Comcast will choose Media General; Time Warner will run with the AP; the Internet providers will pay for the news services, and then pass the costs on to the consumer. It will be only pennies, in the long run, to each consumer, so it’s just a raise in “basic cable,” if you will, and there will be little outcry. But it’s serious revenue for the news corps that make it that far. And Richmond’s own Media General is ideally situated, with all their sources of news. If they were to start thinking now, placing reporters and mini-bureaus in each state, even internationally, creating a digital infrastructure that would be able to report and publish on all their various and newly-created websites . . .

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